ABSTRACT

International peacekeeping deployments to Africa have reached a pivotal time. Thus far, the predominant form of international peace operations in Africa has been the UN peacekeeping operations. The number of UN peacekeepers in the region constitutes almost half of all UN deployments. Africa also hosts three out of the UN’s four largest operations, namely the UN missions in Darfur (25,960 personnel), the DRC (23,470 personnel) and Côte d’Ivoire (12,395 personnel).1 Yet multilateral peacekeeping in Africa is entering a period of change and contraction driven by a number of factors related to the evolution of both the nature of conflict, and international support to conflict-affected or post-conflict states. In addition, a number of transitions in peace operations, including those in Somalia, Sudan and South Sudan, and West Africa, exemplify how changes in conflict trends, the climate of fiscal austerity and the development of newlydefined crisis management tools have manifested themselves in the field. This chapter will first explore trends in international peacekeeping deployments to Africa with a particular focus on those that are currently undergoing a period of transition. It then aims to demonstrate how alternative models of peacekeeping – including civilian-led political missions, regional deployments, and over-the-horizon security guarantees – are increasingly important tools for crisis response both in parallel with traditional peacekeeping operations and as deployment alternatives. Finally, the chapter will examine the increasingly dynamic partnerships between actors, both at headquarters and at the field level. Overall, while the risks in these changing strategies are manifold, and often driven by rapidly unfolding situations rather than a strategic vision, developments over the past two years have also demonstrated the important role that peace operations continue to play in supporting postconflict and post-crisis states as well as the continued national demand for this type of support.